Reed College’s Early Voting Information Center recently released a calendar with the dates for early, absentee, and mail voting in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. On Sept. 19, South Dakota and Minnesota became the first states to open early voting for the 2014 general election. Oklahoma has the shortest early voting period: three days from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. The states that do not offer any early in-person voting are primarily in the Northeast.
According to the Survey of the Performance of American Elections, nearly 18 percent of the electorate cast a ballot in person before Election Day during the 2012 general election. In the South, where early voting originated, the option is even more popular. Another study showed that 36 percent of Southern voters cast their ballots early in person in 2012.
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